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Drug delivery could be defined broadly as physical dosage form, molecular design or other physical approaches build on the fundamentals of metabolism, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic interactions. Novel drug delivery platforms and strategies continue to be developed as an essential part of a global effort to improve safety and efficacy of new or existing drugs and improving efficacy of drugs exhibiting narrow therapeutic index. A number of drug delivery and formulation technologies are now a part of the life-cycle extension for existing drugs to improve safety, efficacy or patient compliance. Some estimates drug delivery market in the US to be 57-82 billion dollars with 6-9% annual growth rate. Therefore, drug delivery continues to play a central role in preclinical and clinical drug development. However, only a limited number of these platforms or technologies advance to clinical evaluation. Therefore, a systematic review of drug delivery technologies currently in development could provide an important insight on the progress and the emerging trend in translation of drug delivery concepts into pharmaceutical products.

As a part of the FDA Modernization Act of 1997 and the effort of the National Library of Medicine with the support of the NIH, a web-based clinical trial registry called ClinicalTrials.gov was created for locating data from federally and privately supported clinical trials. The improvement over the years included additional descriptors and key words related to the drug delivery technologies and platforms. With the enactment of the 2007 Food and Drug Amendments Act, which made mandatory the registry of all clinical trials of drug, biologic and device under FDA regulations, ClinicalTrials.gov becomes the centralized resource for researchers engaged in clinical research and drug discovery and development.

Based on this global resource, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences developed the web-based tool to provide the readers with an update on emerging trends to accompany expert commentaries with respect to the translational prospects of drug delivery research and the related technological advancements in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The interactive-access to the clinical information and understanding the translation trends provided through this user interface will allow scientists in the pharmaceutical science community to stay up-to-date on the state-of-the-art drug delivery technologies and formulating innovative strategies for developing safe and effective treatments for a wide range of diseases.

Rodney J. Y. Ho, Ph.D., Editor, JPS
University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center